Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) militants killed one soldier and wounded four others in a cross-border attack on Çukurca district (Hakkâri province), originating from Iraq, on Tuesday, October 9. The PKK militants reportedly launched two missiles from Iraq in the attack, according to Hakkâri provincial officials. Similar cross-border PKK attacks are possible in southeastern Turkey in the near-term.
The attack notably comes after Turkish security forces detained 90 people suspected of maintaining links to the PKK and the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) on October 8; some 80 of the arrests were reportedly made in Diyarbakır province.
Turkey has been faced with a Kurdish insurgency since 1984, spearheaded by the PKK and concentrated in the southeast, demanding increased autonomy and an end to the oppression of Kurdish groups within the country. The armed conflict resumed in 2015 following the dissolution of a ceasefire established between the government and the PKK in 2013. The conflict has left over 40,000 people dead since 1984 and associated violence continues to pose a significant security risk in southeastern Turkey.
Tensions between the Turkish state and Kurdish populations have intensified further since the launch of Operation Olive Branch, a Turkish offensive against Kurdish groups in Syria, in January 2018. The operation succeeded in pushing the predominantly-Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) from the Afrin area of Syria in March.
Due to the ongoing conflict between the Turkish government and the PKK, some Western governments advise against travel to various southeastern areas, notably including areas along the Syrian and Iraqi borders.
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